For many students and faculty, hearing Harrison Tarr ‘21 perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Night of Knights was a surprise. It was the first time that the fundraiser has been started in this way.
“Donna Wyse contacted my step mom, Heather, and asked me if I was interested in singing the National Anthem. I was a little nervous and iffy at first, but my dad and I thought it would be a great honor to do it,” Tarr said.
Tarr made many preparations before the performance itself. He had three voice lessons with his piano teacher, Ashley Radowski, and practiced for three hours on his own. In addition on the night of the event he showed up early.
“I was there at about 4 o’clock to set up the piano and microphone to start warming up. It helps me to put away my nerves, and I can just worry about starting and letting the song come to me.” he said.
His performance was memorable for students and donors alike. But, this moment was particularly special to Tarr’s mom, Heidi Gillman.
“Seeing my son sing it was an experience I will remember forever,” she said. “I was standing a few rows back recording him sing and about 5 seconds into the song, tears started to stream down my face.”
Harry Tarr’s musical talent goes beyond singing National Anthems at events. He is a member of the band Us&Them. Tarr joined the band as a vocalist when he was thirteen.
“They (Us&Them) are first class. The concerts are engaging, fun, and professional. They perform at private parties, restaurants, outdoor functions, bars, festivals, and nonprofit gigs.” Gillman said.
Tarr is currently in Mount Michael’s guitar class led by Ed Wilberding as well.
“All of the guys have exceeded my expectations, everyone has the talent and we all have enjoyed our time together and had fun.” Wilberding said about the class as a whole.
Making music has been apart of Tarr’s life since he was a child.
“He has always been gifted. Since grade school, Harry would be whistling some tune. But, I got to see his full talent once he joined Us&Them in 8th grade,” longtime friend Griff Wyse ‘21 said.
Tarr has set realistic goals for pursuing a musical career in his future. He plans to pick another instrument, as well as perfecting his voice and taking more lessons on the guitar.
And he has support that he needs to be successful as a musician from his family, friends, and instructors.
“It has been so gratifying and I am so proud of him. Watching him perform and hearing his voice develop and grow has been awesome,” Gillman said.
The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.